Sanusi, speaking on theme ‘Promoting investments in the midst of economic challenges’ at the Kaduna State Economic Summit in Kaduna said North, as a region, has the north has the highest population in Nigeria and the they lacked the necessary indices to show progress.
‘We are living in denial. The North-West and the North-East, demographically, constitute the bulk of Nigeria’s population, but look at human development indices, look at the number of children out of school, look at adult literacy, look at maternal mortality, look at infant mortality, look at girl-child completion rate, look at income per capita, the North-East and the North-West Nigeria, are among the poorest parts of the world.
“As far back as 2000, I looked at the numbers, Borno and Yobe states, UNDP figures: Borno and Yobe states, if they were a country on their own, were poorer than Niger, Cameroon and Chad.
“Nobody saw this because we were looking at Nigeria as a country that averages the oil-rich Niger Delta, the industrial and commercial-rich Lagos, the commercially viable South-East, and you have an average.
“Break Nigeria into its component parts, and these parts of the country are among the poorest, if it were a country. And we do not realise we are in trouble.”
“Other Muslim nations have pushed forward girl-child education, they’ve pushed forward science and technology. They have pushed forward the arts. We have this myth in northern Nigeria, where we try to create an Islamic society that never existed.”
“We need to understand the roots of the problem of northern Nigeria. Burning books, it happened in Kano. What is the crime of those books? They were writing about (love), and love apparently is supposed to be a bad word.
“In a society where you don’t love your women and you don’t love your children, you allow them to beg, you beat up your women, why should anyone talk about love?
“We have adopted an interpretation of our culture and our religion that is rooted in the 13th century mindset that refuses to recognise that the rest of the Muslim world has moved on.
“If you are an Imam or a pastor and shed blood you are a criminal,” Sanusi said. He also said “Nasir, I support you on this one, any pastor or Imam that commits crime should be arrested, tried and jailed were necessary,”
“Today in Malaysia, you wake up and divorce your wife; that is fine. But you give her 50 per cent of all the wealth you acquired since you married her. It is a Muslim country. In Nigeria, you wake up after 20 years of marriage, you say to your wife, ‘I divorce you’, and that’s it.
“Other Muslim nations have pushed forward girl-child education; they’ve pushed forward science and technology. They have pushed forward the arts. We have this myth in northern Nigeria, where we try to create an Islamic society that never existed.
“We are fighting culture, we are fighting civilisation. We must wage an intellectual war, because Islam is not univocal. There are many voices, there are many interpretations, there are many viewpoints, and we have for too long allow the ascendancy of the most conservative viewpoints. The consequences of that are that there are certain social problems.”
Further speaking on comments on by Abdulaziz Yari, governor of Zamfara state, on meningitis Sanusi said “how have we reduced ourselves, what have we done as a people, that we have placed ourselves in a situation where simple things, a medical issue…you don’t have vaccines, say you don’t have vaccines.
‘200 people died of meningitis in a state, the governor was asked and he said it is God’s curse on us for the sin of fornication, which apparently does not happen in America, which is why they don’t have meningitis.”
“Treat those who have contracted it, don’t give these kinds of explanations. But this the mindset. I have a degree in Islamic law, and I can tell you that is not an Islamically correct statement to make.
“These are the kinds of things that we have; and when we talk about a difficult environment, we realise that 90 percent of that difficulty, we can address, because it is self-inflicted.”
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